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Reprinted from the New-EnKland Historicnl ivnd Qenealogicul Register for January, 188' 


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ri'lIIE article entitled " Some of the Descendants of William Hil- 
■l- ton," puhliahcd by me in the Kroistek for April, 1^77 (xxxi. 
179), contained a brief account of William Hilton, who can»c from 
London to I'lyniouth in New En<i;land, in the " Fortune," Nov. 11, 
1G21, and who died in York, Maine, in 1055 or 1()56. It waa 
illustrated by a heliotype of hid letter to John Winthrop the young- 
er, dated Piscataqua, April 18, Ki33, \\hich gives a specimen of 
his handwriting. In the Mass. Archives (HI. 237), there is a 
petition of the inhabitants of York, which 
was presented to the General Court in 
1655, in the matter of the complaint of 
Edward Godfrey against the town of York, 
and tlie following is a facsimile of his signature as it appears on 
that petition. 

That this William Hilton could not have been the William Hil- 
ton of Newljury, afterward of (yharlestown, who died in Charles- 
town, 7:7: 1(575, was conclusively shown in the article above re- 
ferred to. I fiuther stated that their relationship to each other was 
not as yet clearly established, and I expressed a doubt whetiier AVil- 
liam Hilton of Charlestown could have been the son of the AVilliam 
first above named. This question is at last settled by the discovery 
of the following petition, which Mr. William B. Trask has just found 
i;i the Suffolk Court files, and it is now certain that they were father 
and son. But this sulution of the difficulty leaves AVilliam Hilton, 
honior, with two eons each named William ; for William Hilton 
of York was also his*son, as appears by the following deposition,* 
which was jirinted in the Register, xxxi. 184. 

The De})ositioii of Majo' John Davess aged 70 years, or y'abouts, & 
Cap': Cliarles F[rost] aged 52 years or tliere abouts, these Deponents re- 
spectively testify, & Say y' \Villia[m] llihon now rescident iu yorke, in the 
Province of INIayne, was Coinonly kuowu, & [repu]ted, to bee y' sonu of 
William Hilton Senior deceased, & formerly lived iu Yorke abo[ ] ou 
y' Tract of Lund, y'lyeth on the South, or South West side of y^ River [ ] 
yorke over against the lishiug Hakes, & next the Ferry, & further Sayth 

Taken upon oath iu Court this 30">: of May 1683 : p Edw: Rishw[ortb] 

Although it is unusual for two brothers to bear the same christian 
name, it is not an unheard of thing, and instances, though rare, 

* York Deeds, Ui. 125. 

Ji; f.[ tJlOUJ j^Vti^' 

no fc'SJifjqtp li &» •Muiuiv^... -.. .i„.i^. 

,i::.l;iJi (fuJiliV/ '.:;/);.; 

tli 1. . ! A ixul : wiiCi <{ : \ico i V ,j l/i > 

are met with in the history of other families.* Perhaps documents 
may yet he brought to hght which will explain this circumstance. 
The fullowiu;^ is a f'ac-Biiiiile of the bigiia- y 

ture of AVilliam Hilton of Charlestown, ^;^^/>TX^7A^^^;7^ 
the petitioner hereinafter named. It waa ^ 

jiUixed to the verdict of the jury in the case of John (Jiifard vs. John 
Ilathorne, and was found by Mr. Trask among the papers on file 
in that case, which was tried ut the Court of Assistants in Boston, 
March 2, 1G74. 

To the Honored Generall Court now assembled at Boston 
The petition of Wilham Hilton 
Humbly shewetb 

"Where as your petitioners father William Hilton came ouer into New 
England about the yeare Anno: Doiii: 1G21 :' & yo' petitioner came about 
one Yeure & an halfe after, and In a little tyme following settled our selues 
vpon the River of Pischataq. widi Mr Edw: Hilton, who were the tirst 
Inglish planters there : W haueing much Intercourse with y" Indeans by 
way of Trayd, & mutuall giveing &; receauing, amongst wliome one Talianto 
Sagamore of Penecuoke, for kindnesses recefuid from your petition- 
ers father & him selfe, did freely giue vnto the aforesd William Hilton Sen- 
or & William Hilton Junio' six Miles of Land lijng on y" River Penue- 
conacpiigg, being a riuerlett runntiing into the riiier Penacooke to y" East- 
ward, the sd Land to be bounded soe as may be most for y" best accommo- 
dation of your sd petitioner his heyres & assignes. The sd Talianto did 
alsoe freely giue to the sd father & sun, & to y' heyres for euer, Two Miles 
of the best Meddow Land lijng on the North East side of the River of 
Pennicooke adioyning to the sd River, with all y" app'tenances, which sd 
Tract of Land & IMeddows were given in the P'sence of Darby Fejld & 
seuerall Indeans In the yeare 103G: At w'h tyme Talianto went with the 
aforesd Ililtons to the Land", & y'of gaue them possession, All w''" Com- 
monly is known to the Antient Inhabitants of Pischatq, & for the furdier 
Contirmatiou of the sd Gyft or grant, your petitione' hath a renewed Deede 
from the sd Talianto, & since yo' petitioner vnderstaud' that y' bee many 
grants of Laud' lately given y'abouts to bee layd out, And least any should 
bee mistaken in Chuesiug y' place, & j'by Intrench vpon yo' petitioners 
right': lor preuenting w'of 

Your petitioner humbly Craueth that his Grant may bee confirmed by 
this Court, & that A B C or any two of them may bee fully Impoured 
to sett forth the bounds of all the aboue mentioned Land", & make true re- 
turno yW vnto this Hono"^ Court, And your petitioner as in duty bee is 
Loud shall pray for y" future Well fiiyre & prosperity. 

Boston. June. 1. 1660. The cotnittee haueing considered the contents 
of this pet. do not Judge meet y' the Court grant the same, but haueing cou- 
pidered the petitioners grounds for the app'baccon of the Indians gran t^ do 
Judge meet that 300. ace" of the said laud be set out to y" pet', by a coniit' 
tee chosen by this Court, so as y' it may not p'judice any plautaccou. and 

• For a case in point, see the Register for October, 1881 (xxxv. 372), in the article en- 
titled "Thomas Hale of Newlmry, Mass., 1637. His English Origin and Conuectious, by 
the Hon. Robert S. Hub, LL.D.,of Elizabethtown, N. Y. 

this as a finall end & issue of all futuer claimes by vertue of such grant, 
from y° IiKliuns. Thomas Danfoutu 


liie magists Approove of this Rotourn IlLNuy IJautuolmew. 

if theire bretlnen y" depu" Consent hereto. 

Edw Ivaw^jou Secrety. 
Consented'to by the Deputies William Torrcy Cleric. 

[Eudorsed] The petition of William Hilton cut"* w"" y« ma^is'* 31 May ^ 
IGCO (!t X" pd ent. '^ir°y^ ^Ck%^i 

Tahanto" Deed dd out p m' Danf '-^^^^^XOUO 

"William Ililtous petitio Eutred & referred to the Comittee. 

But this petition is not interesting solely to the genealoo-ist. It 
has even liistorical importance. In the I'rocecdings pf the° ^Nlassa- 

ichusetts Historical Society for May, l«7(j, Dr. diaries Deane pub- 
lished some very valuable notes on a recently discovered indenture, 

I dated Dec. 14, 1622, between David Thomson, of Plymouth, Eng- 

'land, of the one part, and three merchants, Abraham Colmer, Nich- 
olas Sherwill and Leonard Pomery also of Plymouth, of the otiier 

, part, for making a settlement on the Piscataqua River. In these 
notes he controverts this statement made by Hubbard in his History 
of New England : 

f _ " Some merchants and other gentlemen in the west of England, belong- 
> ing to the cities of Exeter, Bristol, Shrewsbury, and towns of Plymouth, 

Dorchester, &c having obtained patents for several parts of the 

; country of New England, made some attempt of beginning a plau- 

; tatiou in some place about Pascataqua river, about the year 1G23 . . . Tiioy 
; sent over that year, one Mr. David Thompson, with Mr. Edwurd Hilton, 
1 and his brother, Mr. William Hilton, who had been lishmongers in London, 
* with some others, that came along with them, furnished with necessaries 
' fur carrying on a plantation there. Possibly others might be sent after 
. them in the years following, lG2i and 1025 ; some of whom first, in proba- 
bility, seized on a place called the Little Harbour, on the west side of Pas- 
j: cataqua river, toward, or at, the mouth thereof; the Ililtons, in the mean 
while, setting up their stages higher up the river, toward the northwest, at 
', or about a place since called Dover, liut at that place called the Little 
Harbour, it is supposed, was the first house set up that ever was built in 
those parts. . . . Sir Ferdinando Gorges and Capt. John IMason might have a 
I principal hand in carrying on that design, but were not the sole proprietors 
■ therein," &c. (pp._214, 215). 

} Dr. Deane shows that " the first authentic information of Edward 
, Hilton's presence here is given by Bradford, who says he contrib- 
t iited, in 1028, £1 toward the Thomas Morton affair," and l.ays stress 
. upon the fact that where applicants for a grant of laud had been 
[■' living in the country, or on the spot, for a number of years, more 
! or less, such term of residence was usually cited in the patent as a 
■■ consideration therefor ; but that the language of the Hilton Patent* 


': • This Patent was printed in the Reoistku for July, 1870 (xxiv. 264). It bears date 
;■ March 12, IG29-30, aud the livery ofsckiii Wiis July 7, 1631. 


is hardly that which would have been used if Edward Hilton had 
been here for seven or any conbidcrablo number of yeard. It id 
worded as follows : 

" For and in consideracbn that Edward Hilton & his Associates hath 
already at his and their owno proper costs and cluirges traus}iurtcd sundry 
servants to plant in New P^ngland aforesaid ut a place there culled by the 
natives Wecanacohunt otherwise Hilton's point lying some two leagues from 
the mouth of tiie River Paskataijuack in New England aforesaid wiiere they 
have already Built some houses, and planted Corno, And for that he dutli 
further intend by Gods Divine Assistance, to tnins[)ort thither more people 
and cattle, to the good increase and advancem' &, for the better settling and 
strengthing of their plantafiou," &c. &.c. 

He shows that William Hilton and his family had left Plymouth 
by 1627, and says that "if his brother Edward was then living at 
Dover, it would be natural to suppose that he juined him ; but, 
though he is subsequently found in that neighborhood, I believe he 
cannot be traced as having lived either at Dover Neck or at Cocheco. 
Neither his name nor that of Edward is affixed to the ' Dover Com- 
bination ' of 20 October, 1G40." 

But this petition in the Suffolk Court files is newly' discovered 
evidence, and reopens the case so far as the Hiltons are concerned. 
It corroborates the statement of Hubbard as to the date of the Dover 
settlement. William Hilton came in the "Fortune" Nov. 11, 1G21, 
and was followed in the "Anne," July or August, 1623, by his wife 
and two children, one of whom was the petitioner. In the allotments 
of land in Plymouth in 1623, there was granted to him one acre 
lying " to the sea, eastward "* and to his wife and two children three 
acres butting " against the svvampe & reed-ponde." Hubbard says 
that the friends of John Lyford, who came over in the beginning 
of the year 1624, and who was driven from the colony soon after 
with some of his adherents, affirmed "that the first occasion of the 
quarrel with them was the baptizing of Mr. Hilton's child, who was 
not joined to the church at Plymouth. "| The stay of the Hiltc^ns 
in Plymouth was a short one, a few months probably, less than a 
year at the utmost. William Hiltt)n the younger says that " In a 
little tyme following" his arrival they settled on the Piscataqua 
liiver " with Mr Edw: Hilton." 

While in England in 1873-4 I collected much genealogical ma- 
terial concerning the name of Hilton, but several very jjromisiug 
clews having failed one after another, I did not succeed in satisfac- 
torily establishing a connection with any of the numerous branches 
of tlie Hilton family in England. Bearing in mind the statement 
of Hubbard that AVilliam and Edwaid Hilton had been fishmongers 
in London, I went one morning to Fishmongers' Hall. This guild 

• Plymouth Colony Records, xli. 5 and 6. 

t liuljbiird's Hist, of New England, clmp. xvi. 

— one of the oldest and richest of the twelve great companies — suf- 
fered severely in the (ireat Fire of lOGG, and many of its records 
were destroyed. I found tlie persons in charge indisposed at first 
to <^ive me any infonualion at all, evidently considerin"^ my request 
to look at their books a very sus[)icious ono, hut alter the ol-jcct uf 
my visit had l)een more fully explained, the clerk, while stating; that 
it was impossible to allow a stranger to see the records, very courte- 
ously ottered to examine them liimself, and reported alter some 
search that he had found in only two instances the name of Hilton, 
"i^awle" Hilton in KJIG, and Edward Hilton in 1621. He pro- 
mised however to make further investigation and to send me the 
result. A few days afterward 1 received the following letter : 

Fishmongers' Hall, London, E. C, 19th February, 1874. 

On again searching the books, I am quite unable to trace any such name as 

William Hilton. I have gone back some years. Tlie only names men- 
tioned are Pawle Hilton and Edward Hilton, the latter being admitted as 
Freeman in the year 1G21, as stated by you. 

Yours trulv, Per W. B. Towse, 

J. WuiiNcn TowsE. 
John T. Hassam, Esq., Castle and F'alcon Hotel, 
Aldersgate St., London, E. C. 

The only Paul Hilton I could discover any trace of in Doctors' 
Commons was Paul Hilton of St. Helen's, London. His \vidow 

opsgate, I found there the following entry : " PauU Hilton leather- 
sellers pcntioner buryed y' 22"' of May 1656." He certainly could 
not have been a fishmonger. As the list from which the clerk read 
in Fishmongers' Hall was evidently from its appearance, although 
I did not have an opportunity of examining it closely, a modern 
compilation from some earlier pa[)ers or rolls, it is not unreasonable 
to conjecture that " Pawle " Hilton was a mistake of the co])vist for 
William Hilton. Wo are then safe in considering that AVilliam 
Hilton and Edward Hilton were admitted Freemen of the Fish- 
mongers' Company in 1616 and 1621 resi)ectively. 

I have set forth the matter with this nunuteness because I feel 
convinced that some future investigator who can bring such influ- 
ence to bear as will give him access to the original papers and rec- 
ords of the Fishmongers' Company, may there obtain clews which 
will enable him to solve the question of the birth and parentage of 
AVilliam and Edward Hilton, and make a valuable contribution to 
the history of the English settlements on the Piscataqua. 

The answer of the General ('ourt to this petition of William Hil- 
ton is to be found in the Mass. Col. Uecords, IV. (Pt. I.) 430. In 
the ISIass. Archives, XVI. 364, is the following petition, which was 
printed iu the Keuisteu, xxxi. 194 : 

r was appointed administratrix of his estate, December 16, 
On searching the records of the Parish of St. Helen's, Bish- 


•M li ;! ilil It .11'. 


To the honored Gen": Court Now sitting in Boston the 18'^ INfarch 1G8J 
The hiiiiilihipulitiou ofJiuues liii.ssell Exeouti/ to his lionorcJ fiathcr llichd 
KiisscU E.s(i'. to tliis liouuied Court is y'. whereas my honored fhither lonj/ 
Since bought of m' WiUiaui llihon of Charlstowne A certain pcell or tract of 
Land y'. was conveyd to y". Said Hilton by tahanto Indian Saggamoar (jf 
])eiuiy Coolce and Acknowled^a-d & recorded, as A|»|ji;ars by Said 
Deeds in Court, w*=''. Still want the Conlirniation of tiiis Court to make y' 
Said Deeds Autlientick, w*"''. is humbly requested from this Court y'. they 
wold pleas to conlirme y* Same w*^^"". will oblidye 

Yo' humble Serv' Ja: Russell. 

In Answer to this Petition this Court dotli grant to m' James Russell 
a Farnie of a thousand Acres in lieu of the Lands sold by m"' Hilton to his 
Father provided it be laid out togither in some free place within tiie limits 
of Said Grant or in any other free j)lace thereabouts. 

The Magist'*. have passed this with reference to the consent of their 
Brethren the dep'^'. March. 20"'. 1C«|- 

20mrch \*. Samuel Nowell p order. 

Tlie Deputs Judge meete to respite the Determination hereof uutill the 
uext Sessiou_of this^Court. William Torrey Cleric. 

In the " Notes and Queries " published in the REorSTER for 
April, 1^)80 (xxxiv. 203), I asked lor further information concern- 
ing a sloop stolen from York harbor November 8, 1711, by a ; 
Frenchman and three Indians, and their pursuit by Ensign William ' 
Hilton of York with six of his company and six of the inhabitants, 
which resulted in the recovery of the sloop and the killing and scalp- 
ing of the Indians. 

The following letter has recently been found by Mr. Trask in the 
Suf!'olk Court files. The signature is an autograph, but the body 
of the letter and its su[)erscription are in another hand. The " other 
aftairer " here referred to may be that about which the inquiry was 

Portsm" x^'y' 27'" 1711 
May It Please yo' Excel!. 

lleare is with me tive of y*: 8 Volluntier y' Listed with me, when I 
was Down att Boston : three of them are Deserted : Viz": Sam" Harrison : 
John Hayes: haue ree"* the Countries allowance of provisions: Both att 
Newichawanack : and York : I understand they are Both in Boston : Har- 
rison: Keeps att the windmill: Sam" Williams Keeps att Linn: John Hayes 
Is marryed in Boston I understand: they haue Every one rec'' mony of 
me in Listing in this li^xpedition vnder CoUo". Walton : If yo' P^xctjllency 
think thtt to order they may be sent allong : I have writ to yo' Excellency 
Concerning my other atfairer and am 

Yo"^ ICxcelleiu-ys most Humble & obedient Serv" 


To His Excellency Joseph Dudly Esq' Cap' Generall & Governor in Chief: 
In and over : her IMaj"" Province of Massachusetts & New hampsheire 

j The following are fac-similes of the signatures of Captain Amos 
I Hilton' (17-J1-17«3), Captain Aniod Hilton' ( 17G4-17»JG), and 
! Captain Amos Hilton' ( 17S(i-l«rjO), mentioned in the article en- 
i titled "Some of the Descendants of William Hilton," al.ove re- 
I ferred to. 

I 1778. Port Luuis, Iblc ol' Fiance, Nov. Ii2, 17S9. 

Loyliuiu, Feb. 2, 1818.